Should we hop on the metro?
Metro? The underground train, right?
Yes, prior to coming to Madrid, I had never been on a metro before. Sure, I had been on my fair share of above-ground trains and various airport trams, but never a metro. However, despite my lack of experience, I quickly learned that taking the Metro is an essential part of living in Madrid.
Since it was my first time actually maneuvering a metro system, I was quite confused about how Madrid's metro worked. What line did I need to take? Which station did I need to get off of? Equipped with 13 different lines and 302 stops, Madrid's metro system seemed massive. I felt physically and mentally lost!
After a great deal of trial and error, I finally started to get the hang of the metro. To put it short, thank god for technology and nice people. A friend of mine introduced me to a few public transit phone applications, and they seriously saved me. From origin to destination, these apps are extremely helpful when trying to get around town. My favorite app, "Moovit", tells me the fastest, easiest, and different routes to each of my desired destinations. Thanks to this app and my dear, patient friends, I was able to survive the metro. My "foreign-girl-struggling-with-public transportation" self truly did an 180-degree turn. Even after being here for almost three months and pretty much knowing my route to school and favorite destinations, I still use "Moovit" and other public transit apps every day.
And whats my favorite part about the metro you ask? Well, it's not the various funky smells, sweating on almost every metro ride, or occasionally getting squashed by Madrid's other rushing residents so you may think. My favorite part is that Madrid's metro system is extremely cheap! With my monthly transportation card, I only have to pay 20 euros a month for unlimited trips and rides around the city. Talk about a deal. Despite an occasional late-night Uber or taxi fare after a night out, transportation in Madrid is easy, cheap, and reliable.
Due to my recent mastery of Madrid's metro system, I am reminded that practice makes perfect, especially when it comes to this perfectly unperfect metro system.